Sore nipples are probably the most common
difficulty mothers have when breastfeeding. It is also known as cracked
nipples. It is characterized by tenderness and pain. It's normal to
feel some tenderness at the beginning of a feed during the first few
days of breastfeeding. But severe or lasting pain is not normal. Nipple
soreness is almost always a short-term problem, and can usually be
corrected in a matter of days.
A very high risk period for having sore and cracked nipples is post natal period. There could be many reasons like an improperly positioned newborn or a baby with a very strong suck can result into sore nipples. Sore nipples, over the times, can turn into cracked nipples.
If nipples feel painfully sore or the nipples or areola feel bruised, it is more likely that it is related to an improper latch-on process or ineffective sucking. Suspect a difficulty with baby's latch or sucking if nipples become very red, raw, blistered, or cracked. A latch or sucking difficulty or a structural variation in the baby's mouth might result in nipples that look creased or blanched (turn white) at the end of feedings.
Improper care or hygienic condition can also result in this troublesome situation. Nipples, if remain dry is prime factor that contribute in soreness and cracking. Any wound's ignorance can lead to such condition that again requires major attention before it turns big.
The best treatment of sore nipples is prevention. The best prevention is getting the baby to latch on properly from the first day. This can be done by
A. Proper positioning and latching.
At first, it may be easiest for many mothers to use the cross cradle hold to position the baby for latching on. Hold the baby in right arm, pushing in the baby's bottom with the side of the forearm so that hand turns palm upwards (towards the ceiling). This will help in supporting his body more easily as the baby's weight is on your forearm rather than wrist or hand. Holding the baby like this also will bring the baby in from the correct direction so that he gets a good latch. The hand will be palm up under the baby's face (not shoulder or under his neck). The web between thumb and index finger should be behind the nape of his neck (not behind his head). The baby will be almost horizontal across the body, with his head slight tilted backward, and should be turned so that his chest, belly and thighs are against mother with a slight tilt upwards so the baby can look at her mother. Hold the breast with left hand, with the thumb on top and the other fingers underneath, fairly far back from the nipple and areola.
B. Limiting the amount of time of nursing on the
sore nipple, always starting with the side that is
C. Use of bra pads, and changing them frequently to keep nipples dry.
D. Breastfeeding frequently and regularly to avoid nipple confusion and sore nipple.
E. Massage a little hand expressed milk into the nipples after finishing the nursing, and letting them air dry.
F. One can also express a little milk before breastfeeding to regularize the flow of milk.
G. Use of nipple protectors as long as nipples don't heal.
Role of homoeopathy-
Homeopathy can successfully cure sore nipples. Treatment is given to the patient depending on the cause. The medicines act safely without producing side-effects on either the mother or the baby.
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